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The Graduate Program in Biology, with faculty from the Division of Natural Sciences, the Division of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Marine Laboratory, and the Water and Environmental Research Institute, offers a Master of Science degree.  The program is designed to serve those students who are pursuing a research-oriented career at the master's level, those using the master's degree as a stepping stone to the doctorate, and biology teachers who have fulfilled requirements for teacher's certification but seek a broader knowledge of biology.

In addition to obtaining the Master of Science in Biology, candidates have the opportunity to study in one of the most interesting regions of the biosphere.  The Graduate Program in Biology has many facets comparable to mainland programs and provides outstanding opportunities in tropical marine science.  The Marine Laboratory, situated at the edge of Pago Bay's diverse coral reef, provides facilities for research and instruction requiring a running seawater system and basic and advanced instrumentation for chemical seawater analyses.

Graduate courses taken to make up any deficiencies shall not be applied to the total credits required for a graduate degree. For a graduate students in biology, this must include Principles of Biology I and II, and Genetics, or equivalent(s).  In addition, credit for one semester or quarter of Calculus, and two semesters or two quarters each inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics is required.  Applicants must also submit test scores on the Graduate Record Examination (General and Advanced Biology Tests, taken within the last five years) and three letters of reference.


The degree program requires a total of 30 hours of graduate credit, at least 18 of which must be at the 500 or 600 level, including six hours of Thesis Research (BI695).  A maximum of six credit hours may be accepted in related graduate-level courses.  Students must maintain a B average (3.0) and make no more than one grade of C or lower in the major area to be admitted to the degree program and remain in it, except that a student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 has one semester of probation to raise the average before he/she is dismissed from the program.

All students are required to pass an oral examination based on their thesis proposal as part of their degree requirements.  Two failures on this examination will result in the student being dismissed from the program.  At the discretion of the faculty, additional courses at the undergraduate or graduate level may be required for a student found to have inadequate preparation.

For further information, please refer to the the Graduate School and the Graduate Program in Biology for a current bulletin and application procedures. Prospective students should also maintain contact with Chair, Graduate Program in Biology.



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